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How a modified approach to dental coding can benefit personal and professional development with improved clinical outcomes

Journal of Evidence Based Dental Practice
Elsevier - Mosby
DOI: 10.1016/j.jebdp.2013.12.002
  • Informatics
  • Coding
  • Evidenced Based Dentistry
  • Computer Science
  • Medicine


Abstract Background One disadvantage of the remarkable achievements in dentistry is that treatment options have never been more varied or confusing. This has made the concept of Evidenced Based Dentistry more applicable to modern dental practice. Despite merit in the concept whereby clinical decisions are guided by scientific evidence, there are problems with establishing a scientific base. This is no more challenging than in modern dentistry where the gap between rapidly developing products/procedures and its evidence base are widening. Furthermore, the burden of oral disease continues to remain high at the population level. These problems have prompted new approaches to enhancing research. Aim The aim of this paper is to outline how a modified approach to dental coding may benefit clinical and population level research. Methods and Materials Using publically assessable data obtained from the Australian Chronic Disease Dental Scheme and item codes contained within the Australian Schedule of Dental Services and Glossary, a suggested approach to dental informatics is illustrated. Results A selection of item codes have been selected and expanded with the addition of suffixes. These suffixes provided circumstantial information that will assist in assessing clinical outcomes such as success rates and prognosis. Conclusion The use of item codes in administering the CDDS yielded a large database of item codes. These codes are amenable to dental informatics which has been shown to enhance research at both the clinical and population level. This is a cost effective method to supplement existing research methods.

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